The best of science fiction has always shaken me to my core - elevated scenarios with universal, human experiences which ground them and force me to reflect in ways that I may not otherwise - sparking my imagination and my humanity all at once. Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows comes to its conclusion tugging at that core. Doctor Star is full of regret and what makes that sting of regret even more sharp is the fact that he realizes that everything that happened was all his fault. I’m not going to go into the details of the story, but this final chapter in this spin-off story made my heart both soar and ache.
There have been a few writers recently that make me feel like a kid yet think like an adult, and, sometimes, visa versa. Jeff Lemire has been one of those writers. The world of Black Hammer is full of complications that come with experience behind you. I might read Doctor Star and Black Hammer again when I’m 50, 60, 70 and feel the pull of everything to an even greater degree. These aren’t stories that are going to ease off the older we get, but I think they’ll become more relevant. Thankfully, the end of this four-part series isn’t the end of the journey for Doctor Star or our Black Hammer heroes. The one thing I love about this work is even though there is a great internal struggle and loss, the conclusion represents a beginning…
Let me praise all of the other creators on this book. Fiuamara and Stewart give us a magnificent world to look at, sometimes dreary and somber and other times full of life, magic, and hope. The last ten pages, in particular, are an emotional, visual journey. Piekos and Blambot represent the words of Doctor Star in such a way that we’re having the same thoughts that he is; we are with him on this journey.
All great works of art or storytelling allow us to reflect on who we are as we follow the journey of someone we relate to. I know I haven’t talked much about the work itself in this review, but the fact that I’ve taken the conversation in this direction shows just how effective the story was.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (story), Max Fiuamara (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letters)
Publisher: Dark Horse
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